Does Time Exist?

There is no question that we experience what we call time.   There is a precision with which we can measure the progression of events over time that is phenomenally accurate.   Things age and particles decay over “time” and it is consistent.    However, physical laws that use time as a reference work equally well for time reversal – going backward – a particle hitting another particle, generating other particles and emitting photons will work just as well running backward according to physics.   We just have never experienced time reversal and this disconnect with the laws of physics seems to be a mystery.  This disconnect is used by many to express the opinion that time exists.   However the fact remains that equations of space and time break down at certain points and time falls out of some of them as an unnecessary factor.

Think of this: photons live in “null” time.  They live and die in the same instant because they travel at the speed of light and therefore if time exists for them, they do not experience it.   They experience zero flight time over zero distance no matter how far apart the start and finish line are.  They live in a go-splat world.    A photon leaving a star a billion light years away destroys itself in our eye the instant it is emitted, having not aged even a fraction of a nanosecond in its long trip.   Space and time are that warped!

The space and the time have been warped because of the speed of the photon.  It travels at the speed of light.   Our very definition of speed involves time so when we say the speed of light we assume that time exists, but for the photon time does not exist.  

A photon experiences zero distance and zero time due to its incredible speed.   Every photon that lights our office or illuminates our book arrives the instant it is emitted.  It has not aged even though we can calculate that it moved from the bulb to our book and then to our eye at about one nanosecond per foot of travel.  The photon did not experience the “time” that we measure or calculate.  It aged not at all.  Time does not exist for any particle moving at c.  It only exists for us as calculated or measured in a laboratory.  But does it exist as a real dimension?  Does it have a physical basis?  

A photon in flight between point a and point b is invisible to any and all observers.  It does not exist in flight and can only be detected at b when it actually arrives.   The photon in flight experiences null time – time zero – no time – non-existent time, and travels a null path – or no path at all, regardless of the length of its travel.   Time for the photon does not exist, nor does distance.  Those measurements of time and distance for the photon are for our domain only – the human one.

Now consider an extension of that thought – most of the particles that make up our world vibrate and exchange energy with each other.  That occurs even at temperatures close to zero.   There is also a froth of virtual particles that pop into and out of existence continually at all times even in a so-called perfect vacuum.     All the energy exchanged through photons is timeless because all photons are moving at c.   Even gravity moves at c.  Gravity is also timeless within its self.   The exception is for atoms that bump into each other and exchange energy through vibration and bumping.   Or do they?   Do they actually touch or isn’t there an exchange of particles  moving at c that keep them apart?

If the energy transfer by photons is timeless, the photons are timeless, gravity is timeless all due to the speed of light as experienced by the particles that carry them, then does time exist or are we merely measuring external events by counting uniform progressions that we experience and can see?

I know and acknowledge that we can measure the speed of a photon to a very high precision.  I know that we can measure the speed of gravity as other planets tug on ours and on each other.    The measurement is based on the progression of the components of our clocks.   We do live in a dimension that experiences progression of events in one direction which we call time.  

However, we can measure but we cannot see.  We can observe the effects but not the event.   The truth is that whenever something is traveling at c, simultaneous observations are impossible.  Every observer of the same event sees something different.    Have you ever seen time?  Maybe the change in a clock, which is actually only a measure of repetitive events, whether a wind up (measuring escapement events) or a NBS clock counting cycles of an atomic nature, but not timeWe can’t see time, only experience it.  We can’t measure time, only define it.

Time for us may be just a projection of ourselves on a line defined by a progression of events that occur in a uniform manner, but it may not really exist.    We are bundles of energy made up of atoms and particles in extraordinarily rapid motion.  Take us down to the quantum world and we are made up of many quadrillions of particles exchanging energy among themselves in mostly empty space.    In such huge numbers there is an average motion and an average progression of events that may make up our concept of time.  Certainly our most accurate “clocks” are merely counting cycles of an atomic nature.   Even the National Bureau of Standards admit they are “not measuring time, but only defining it“.

Does time exist just for us because we experience this progression in a uniform manner? Perhaps it is not actually an extra dimension as we have been so often told.

Do you think time exists as a dimension in the same manner as x, y, z?  Is time real?  If you have been following my last two posts, you will understand it is the lack of time, at least on the photon level, that explains quantum weirdness.   And explains it well.

What do you think? 

Oldtimer

PS:  here are some other articles by Oldtimer on the subject of time

Enjoy!

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53 responses to “Does Time Exist?

  1. Pingback: Are you and I already in heaven? « Ordinary People - Extraordinary Visions

  2. stephen fretwell

    Well, I came on to this marvelous site wondering why crystals were pretty. I thought that maybe, putting protons and electrons in ordered arrays meant that light passed through differently, and we were seeing the difference between light passing an electron cloud, and light passing by or through a nucleus, as would happen in a non-crystal. But glass isn’t a crystal, is it?

    Now, I don’t know what to think. Which is a good, even wonderful thing. What a great site! Mystery has returned to a universe I almost figured out. You are on my (short) list of favorites, and I’ll join you in trying to answer the question, “What the ….?”

  3. Thank you and welcome!

    Crystals are indeed pretty. When I was in grade and high school, I collected rocks, particulary crystals. The New York “Little Falls Diamonds” were among my favorites and any geode with any kind of crystals went on my display shelf. I still have them more than 50 years later.

    Glass is indeed not a crystal, but an amorphous solid. It does have a loose tetrahederal structure to it.

    Jim

  4. I came across this while trying to figure out a black hole and really, although this article has made me dumbfounded, all i wanted to know is does the density of something effect it’s gravitational pull… you seem to be really intelligent in the area of physics so maybe you can tell me?
    I’m not even going into physics as a career, i’m an art student, but i came around through browsing and pondering to what a black hole really is and such. From what I’ve heard, learned and read, it’s a collapsed star, but then I don’t understand how a star can be a billion times more vast than this Hole, and still not have as much of a gravitational pull…
    If you can help me on this, well thank you

  5. The short answer is that the density of something does not affect its gravitational pull because the mass of an object does not change as you compress or expand it, and the gravitational forces depend on mass. The volume of the object just gets smaller or larger but “weighs” the same. For example if you put a large sofa cushon in a plastic bag and vacuum out the air (this really works) the sofa cushon will be compressd to a carboard thick wad. Much higher density. It will still weigh the same as before (neglecting the very small weight of the removed air) because the mass of the material has not changed even though its density has gone way up.

    Now for the long answer, the part about black holes and density.

    Here is a good source of information on black holes:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Black_hole

    Our atoms are mostly empty space, lots of room for things to fit into. Normally, the fields/forces around atoms keep them relatively far apart and the spaces in between remain mostly empty. All mass have gravitational effects on surrounding masses and the more mass the higher those effects, but as long as the density remains below a certain point there is no black hole. It is not so much the mass that makes a black hole but the density – mass in a tiny space.

    As a star gains mass, it’s outer mass compresses the inner material but the internal pressure keeps the atoms apart and the interior spaces empty. When a star grows too much or its internal pressure decreases because its fuel is depleted, it can collapse and when the density reaches a certain point, it technically becomes a “black hole”, one in which the gravitational pull is too great for light to escape. This is often accomplished by a steller explosiion that implodes the mass toward the center of the star, greatly increasing its density.

    The mass is still the same but it is concentrated in such a small space (essentually zero space) that the density is enormous (essentually infinite), and the space around it is so severely warped that light does not get out. The density is self sustaining because the gravity of the masses within it is high enough to keep it together, except after much evaporation.

    It is thought that much smaller masses can also be compressed by outside forces to the point that the small mass achieves black hole density, but none are known to exist. It would take enormous energy to accomplish this.

    For example if you were able to compress a baseball enough, it would become a micro black hole. But it would have to be compressed so much that its outer readius would be essentually zero (much smaller than an atom). The mass would still be that of a baseball, but the density would be so high that light could not get away from it. Space would be severely warped around this very tiny black hole, but only very very near its center, probably too small to be detected. Gravity from such a source at the distance you would normally pick up the ball would be no more than for a regular baseball because the mass is still a baseball mass. If you could weigh it, (a real problem) it would weigh the same. It is the ratio of the mass to the radius that is important. Make the mass high enough and/or compress to an estremely small readius and you have a black hole.

    Known and predicted black holes contain mass greater than our sun. Sometimes thousands and even billions of times greater. Yet the size of the space occupied by the mass in the black hole is still essentually zero. The gravity around such large masses is extremely high and will capture all light out to a certain radius, the event horizon. The event horizon can be far from the central mass depending on the amount of mass. The capture range is usually further out than the size of the central mass, and grows as the black hole captures more and more mass while the central reagon does not grow measureably, if at all.

    Black holes can evaporate and if there is no nearby mass that it can capture to replenish itself with, a black hole could evaporate to a smaller mass than what was required to establish it. Smaller in mass than our own sun.

    Black holes do typically have very high gravitational pulls, proportional to the mass inside and inversely to the distance to the center. But a micro black hole could theoretically be floating around a lab that created it (such as with a high energy accelerator) and never be noticed as it would likely evaporate before it hit anything and even if it did encounter a part of the lab, it would be so tiny and have such small gravitational pull at atomic-size distances that it would not capture more “stuff” needed to grow. Likely it would just poof out of existance unnoticed.

    At least I hope so.

    What I want to emphasize it that any given mass has a certain gravitational pull at any given distance, black hole or not. Supermassive black holes at say 1000 light years away have the same gravitational effects as that of a group of stars of the same total mass that are close together (but not close enough to be a black hole) at the same 1000 light year distance. The difference is the black hole has much higher concentration of mass, occuplies much less volume, and also warps space much more tighthly than the group of stars with the same mass. The stars shine brightly and the black hole is, …well, black.

    Oldtimer

  6. Existence of time belongs to the same category of questions as how long is “length”. They are interdependent and arbitrary notions. Length/space cannot be measured/experienced without time *and* vice versa. So “time is as real as the any dimension” is more politically correct.

  7. So “time is as real as the any dimension” is more politically correct.

    Alas not grammatically though … he he he

  8. It seems to me that we experience time in different ways than we measure it. things occur in the same sequence for all observers sitting in a room for non relativistic situations, but if you are the judge in the court you experience it one way, a defendant another and a juror still another. I’ve noted that time seems to slow dramatically during an accident and speed up dramatically just after.

    Except in relativistic situations, length is pretty well fixed and measurable regardless of how long it takes to measure it. We all get the same results. When I’m setting in the house, time marches on (according to my clock and according to my stomach), but the width of my driveway is pretty stable except perhaps with temperature.

    But does time really exist or is it something we invented? There are cultures in this world, even today, where time is of no consequence. Events are related in context with other events that occured along with it, but whether it was an hour, a day, a week or a decade ago is not related. They seldom relate events in any particular order. A birth event and a marrage event for the same person might be described independently of each other and also out of order. It happened and that is good enough. Those cultures get along fine without time.

    Thanks for dropping by,

    Oldtimer

  9. Once again…you have blown my mind with this revelation. If it’s ok, can I post a link to this on my site?

  10. Of course Jay, Thanks for coming by. I’ve added you to my blog roll over in Extraordinaryvisions, your Food for Thought series. Folks, this is the famous musician Jay Curtis. Find him at:

    http://theblospel.com/

  11. “It seems to me that we experience time in different ways than we measure it. ”

    Experience of time *is* measurement of time. It yields different result from a clock measurement because its a different way of measuring.

    “things occur in the same sequence for all observers sitting in a room for non relativistic situations, ”

    depends heavily on what you consider “things”
    A sneezes causing B to pull the trigger thereby hitting C some miles away. C hears the sneeze *after* he is hit whereas B claims sneeze happened *before* the hit.

    “but if you are the judge in the court you experience it one way, a defendant another and a juror still another. I’ve noted that time seems to slow dramatically during an accident and speed up dramatically just after.”

    If they all look at the clock in the court room, they will all agree on the interval length … but thats not the point….If A walks a mile and B runs backwards, B will experience the mile differently (longer mostly) from A…a small hair on hand feels differently than the same one in the eye … so size experience is also relative, just like time experience….

    “Except in relativistic situations, length is pretty well fixed and measurable regardless of how long it takes to measure it. We all get the same results. ”

    we all will get same *time* results too with similar clocks …

    “When I’m setting in the house, time marches on (according to my clock and according to my stomach), but the width of my driveway is pretty stable except perhaps with temperature.”

    meaning clock keeps ticking and measuring the time interval between whenever and now … same can be said for length while driving down a road, the miles keep piling on (ie the length of the road) but the road is pretty much same width, and the time interval between sunup and sunup is same (approximately 24 hours) …

    “But does time really exist”

    we come back full circle to original question.

    “or is it something we invented? ”

    what is not invented/convention/agreed upon

    “There are cultures in this world, even today, where time is of no consequence. Events are related in context with other events that occured along with it, but whether it was an hour, a day, a week or a decade ago is not related. They seldom relate events in any particular order. A birth event and a marrage event for the same person might be described independently of each other and also out of order. It happened and that is good enough. Those cultures get along fine without time.”

    I’ll assume these cultures have not heard of movies and entertainment… why would a culture be bored if it doesnt know time?
    But even those cultures must be aware that one cannot be one’s own grandpa … biologically.
    they do know time … but at a more casual level
    …. most infants and young kids dont have notion of time too….

  12. Wanderer:
    Thanks for the input and for dropping back in.

    I’m not aware though of any rooms big enough for a 2 mile shot, nor of anyone able to hear a sneeze that far away, but your point is well taken 8>)

    Oldtimer

  13. I came to this site to get some research on the concept of ‘time’ as a linear thing. I am writing a philosophy paper which is meant to discuss time as a linear concept and proove or at least provide a good argument for the possibility of quantum time and multiple planes of time at once. Any suggestions or info. you could throw my way would be really helpful.

  14. Hello, Nikki

    This topic, Does Time Exist? has been by far the most viewed and commented on topic in this blog. Out of my 4 websites, this topic ranks number 2. My readers selected this topic 4 times as often as the next highest read topic on this particular website and has been the most read post every month since I wrote it.

    I think time it is a good topic for a philosophy topic as there are many questions that can be asked and examined. Almost everyone accepts time as real, but in the absense of a mechanism acting as timekeeper, everyone drifts in time and often end up wildly off the mark as to what time the timekeeper says. The timekeeper mechanism assumes that it is linear and real, but as that mechanism speeds up, time and space are distorted. Time in that plane of reference is different than time in the observing plane, so the linear measurement is not linear as can be demostrated even for our earth satalites.

    It appears that you have narrowed it down to a small subset of all that can be asked if you are talking about quantum time.

    Planck time should be close if not the same as quantum time. Planck time is about 5.4×10-40 second and represents the time it would take a photon to cross the smallest definable length, the Planck length. It is the length that some speculate that quantum foam and quantum effects take place. If indeed there are multiple universes, then I would expect that some would exist without time, others with vastly different scales of time.

    My thought is that time is an idea devised by man to keep appointments and for little other reason. Early man had nothing but the bodies in the sky to help him decide when to start back for home. Now some wear watches that cost thousands just ot make an appointment. So we have linearized and quantized time for our convience. Still when we put our watches aside, we can only guess. When we speed up toward light speed the watches run slower. When we put our watches near high gravitational forces, they run slower. A precision clock on a high mountain keeps a different time than it would at sea level.

    You might gain a little insight into what I think about multiple universes and the existance of time in other universes by reading this:
    http://extraordinaryvisions.wordpress.com/2007/07/03/are-you-and-i-already-in-heaven/

    That is a little off field for this blog, but it may spark a different approach to time in a different plane. It was the spark for this topic, by the way.

    I expect that on the qunatum level, time is kicked around randomly and is not linear. The Planck time is based on measurements of 3 constants that are constant at ranges we can measure but those 3 constants may not be constant at those dimension. The speed of light and the gravitational constant may vary within the quantum foam. Who knows? If so then it stands to reason that the Planck length may be a little foamy too. And so then the Planck time and thus quantum time. It may also be that Planck’s time is what really varies at near the speed of light. All the componets of the quantum foam within that frame of reference are also moving along with that reference and thus changing accordingly.

    In a sense, if time is quantized, then it may be variable on the Planck scale, but average out over the billions of billions of billions of billions of events that occur before it gets up to a level we can measure it.

    What are your ideas? Can you share some early thoughts? I would like to at least see the results of your paper some day.

    Oldtimer.

  15. Okay. I have a question. You may have already answered this, but i didn’t catch it: How do we know photons live and die in null time?? No one has ever “been a photon for a day”

  16. thank you, jcasal, it is a good question.

    The long answer is found in my earlier posts “Random Thoughts about Relativity” and in more detail in “Quantum Weirdness Part 1, Photons in Glass Weirdness – a Matter of Relativity“.

    The short answer is that according to Einstein’s equations for time dilation, photons (because they travel at the speed of light) have zero time of flight regardless of the time or distance (as we measure it) traveled.

    What it amounts to is that the photon does not age during its travel because it does not have time to age. That may not be a satisfactory answer because you might answer that “not aging” may not mean zero lifetime, but it does in this case.

    To prove that, you can also look at it this way: according to Einstein’s equation for space distortion, photons, because they travel at c, travel zero distance from its emission to its destruction, so there cannot be any travel time involved. It never has time to exist. Space distortion at near c speeds is a predictable and measurable phenomenon for all sorts of particles. The faster they go, the more foreshortened the distance. Photons travel at the ultimate speed, c.

    In other words, the space is so distorted due to the enormous speed, the photon essentially arrives the instant it is emitted, even across trillions of miles of space as we measure it. The landing point is warped to the starting point and there is zero distance traveled and zero “time” involved in its travel. We live in a different universe from the photon from a measurement standpoint, maybe literally.

    Photons exist in a go-splat world. It no sooner is emitted than it splats.

    Oldtimer

  17. Please would you write an explanation of unparticles? Is this’ layer ‘of existence like the implicate order ‘layer’ as described by David Bohm?I have no background in the study of physics, but I know a little more of philosophy and I find your articles illuminating

  18. I’m not all that familiar with the term unparticle other than Howard Georgi, a physicist at Harvard University, has written a paper on it.

    Essentially, unparticles don’t fit into the standard model because normally, if you multiply or scale a physical property of a particle, it changes with the scale.

    However if you do so with a photon, for example, you are simply multiplying your scale factor times zero, since the photon has zero mass, and the photon looks the same regardless of your changing the scale, yet it is still considered a particle. Scale times zero makes no change in the photon. This scale invariance is due to zero mass.

    Howard proposes that there may exist at the high-end of the high-energy physics something that he calls ” unparticles”. That is something with actual mass that is scale invariant, meaning that if you multiply the unparticle’s mass or other physical characteristics, it will still look the same, despite the existence of mass. Scale invariant with mass. Not a particle so it is assigned the moniker unparticle.

    He says that neutrinos come close to exhibiting unparticle characteristics. neutrons speed along at c like a photon, and appear to be massless because of its speed, but in some cases, change type in a way that can only happen if there is mass present.

    His paper: Howard Georgi “Unparticle Physics.” Physical Review Letters 98, 221601 (2007).

    I really don’t think this has anything to do with David Bohm’s idea that consciousness and matter are deeper orders of an implicate layer. It appears to me not related to the unparticle which is purely a theoretical concept of a higher energy physics possibility. David Boehm essentially suggested that the world as we see it is simply a holographic view.

    Howard is suggesting a real but so far undetected but potentially detectable particle… er, I mean unparticle.

    Oldtimer

  19. “What it amounts to is that the photon does not age during its travel because it does not have time to age. That may not be a satisfactory answer because you might answer that “not aging” may not mean zero lifetime, but it does in this case.”

    If we define aging as “changing” then we come upon sort of a contradiction. A photon coming out of a “gravitational well” redshifts. It redshifts more as it travels more out of it. So a photon does change hence it does age. But since the photon never attempted to measure anything, before or after, so there is no contradiction for *it*. Since we measured and non-zero time exists for us, we also dont have contradiction. But there still is the (apparent) contradiction that this change happened for photon in zero time. Obviously, there is no contradiction, it just appears so (because …).

  20. In short, because…The redshift observed by measurement with (our) local clock is a time dilation effect. The time is measured and compared between clocks at different levels in the gravitational well, so we are sort of viewing it through a distorted time lens that gives a redshift measurement on our end of the lens dependent on how deep the well is.

    An emitting atom in a gravitational field has a slower moving clock than one outside and the emitted photon would be redshifted as viewed by our local clock but look normal to the measuring clock inside.

    This does not mean that either the wavelength, nor its energy has changed as it climbs out of the well. Nothing actually changes for the photon during this process, only the apparent change for our measurement due to the time dilation effect. There is no contradiction at all.

    A photon grazing the sun would be measured as getting bluer by clocks local to the photon nearing the sun and getting redder leaving as measured by clocks local to the photon because each of the clocks would be ticking at different speeds within their different gravities. We would measure a time delay as the photon passes through, but the photon does not know it.

  21. Excellent explanation.
    If time doesn’t exist for photon, then how meaningful is it to ponder about the experience of an entity which in its own frame does not exist? Or are you separating existence from time? On the other hand if we say photon accelerates to speed c from zero, then it is more like go-i_am_goin-goin_good-splat.

  22. I have no problem saying that we exist or even that photons exist. Photons do knock electrons off of metal plates, affect our cameras and our eyes, warm our skin, etc. Yeah, I exist and I just burned my finger on a light bulb to prove the other, and it took too much “time” to remove it.

    I have no problem saying that time exists for us, but I qualify it by saying that it is an artificial construct because we experience time only as a progression of events at the macro level. When we find really repetive and predictable events, we make clocks out of them and/or measure days and years by them, even lifetimes, so when we say “the time is….” then everyone looks at their mechanical progression measurement device on their wrist and agree that it is close to whatever he said. But we are just stating an artificial count of some series of repetive events.

    All the quantum level stuff (including quarks and any other little goodie parts of atoms) pretty much move at c and none of those that do have any time to use. If time exists for them it is only at one point on the time scale – zero, null, zip. All at the same point in time, time zero, null time. And our bodies and everything we see around us are made up of lots of this qantum stuff all moving at c. Ultimately nothing in our bodies experiene time at their smallest scale.

    Regarding the go-going-gone-splat phase: What happens is that there is no acceleration phase. Energy is emitted and a photon wormhole instantly connects both ends of its ultimate path in “no time” (pun intended). The path length of the wormhole is also zero, even across the universe. The wormhole begins to collapse at the rate of c and the collapse can be measured on our macro clock at c. The collapse starts at the emitting end and collapses toward the splat end. When the wormhole is fully collapsed, the energy is transfered to the splat, perhaps a million of our years after it was emitted but at the same instant for the photon. Within the wormhole, time is stopped and all measurements are zero, nothing moves, all distances are zero in every direction. Outside the wormhole, the collapse is taking the long way around, eating up its path at c.

    It is the lack of time for things that move at c and this zero dimenstion world that allows photons to play tricks on us that inspire us to say “that is weird, dude”. But it really isn’t weird at all. Just following the rules. This comes about because the distance between any two points in the path of anything that is moving at c is alwas zero and so all the possible paths it can take are zero distance apart and all points are zero distance from the photon. Thus all the possible paths are contained in the photon wormhole from the time the photon is emitted until the time the collapse is complete. The photon can collapse along any one of them with some degree of probability.

    I’m going to say something profound here: It is this compression of all possible paths of a photon into one super thin string-like wormhole (string therory material) that makes the pretty little quantum diagarms work so well. Fineman would be proud that his diagrams have a physical interpretation and Einstein would be proud that his equations explain the weirdness after all, and I’m a bit proud to be the first to say it.

    Oldtimer

  23. “Regarding the go-going-gone-splat phase: What happens is that there is no acceleration phase. ”

    a photon *born* at speed c will be in a perfect inertial frame wrt the world. Both frames will be perfectly equivalent since there is no acceleration phase to prefer one over the other. Therefore, since time exists in one of these frames (ie world) it must exist in the other too (ie photon).

    “…Energy is emitted and a photon wormhole instantly connects both ends of its ultimate path in “no time” (pun intended). The path length of the wormhole is also zero, even across the universe”

    how does this theory scale down to something moving at lesser speeds? how good is a theory that “shifts” gears for explaining one phenomenon for speed = c and totally different for speed != c?

    isn’t is more convenient to just assume c to be unattainable constant even for a photon? and say “photon speed is as close to c as one can get”

  24. love your work.
    keep it up
    LK

  25. In my opinion based on my observation I believe we are long confused by the definition DIMENSION itself.

    For me (just for me) the word DIMENSION means a specific area where an object exists. It is a “place” (the word means either space or time) of existence.

    I believe that there are only two DIMENSIONs in the universe and that there are “subdimensions” under these two DIMENSIONs.

    The first dimension is SPACE where Matter exists. Space has its 3 subdimensions namely X,Y,Z . This subdimensions are nessesary to justify the existence of an object in that DIMENSION.

    The second dimension is TIME where until now we don’t know the very nature of it. This is maybe because we only focus our study in the nature of SPACE and that we always include TIME with SPACE but in nature they come in totally different flavor.

    But recently, an “extra six” “dimension” where discovered and I think these “extra dimensions” plays a very important role regarding the nature of TIME itself.

    SPACE cannot exists without TIME and vice versa. These two are the constituent of the universe.

    Photons and particles alike exist in both TIME and SPACE. Photons are necessary because it binds together these two for both DIMENSIONs to exists. This principle is somehow related to what we call SPACE-TIME.

    It is said that Einstein has been dealing with the unification of theory ever since and until now scientists are continuing to put together all principle in one master equation. But I believe that it has long been proposed but ingored that SPACE-TIME plays a big role in the existence of everything and that it is already the unification principle. It is the inevitable symetry an absolute equation.

    Only if we focus our study in the nature of TIME we will fully understand what is going on in our universe.

  26. HELLO,,,
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    http://www.scienceagogo.com/news/denying_time.shtml
    http://www.peterlynds.net.nz/plcs.doc
    BY MR. PETER LYNDS, WITH THE SAME CONCEPT AND MORE PRECISE SCIENTIFIC DETAILS, I MEAN EVERY WORD, I’VE ALL PROOFS NECESSARY…
    OTHER ARTICLES ON OTHER SITES….
    I DON’T CARE ABOUT THIS BUT I CARE ABOUT MORE IMPORTANT ISSUES,,,, EVERY THING I’VE SAID FROM 13 YRS AGO, NOT ONLY IN PHYSICS CAME TRUE VIA RESEARCHES OF SCIENTISTS,

    HUMANKIND’S WAY OF THINKING STILL VERY LOW, SOMEONE HAS HIGH EDUCATION DEGREE “DOCTORATE, OR HIGHER….” DOESN’T MEAN HE HAS THE ABILITY OF THINKING “THE CORRECT WAY OF THINKING”,,,,, I CAN GIVE U POTENT PROOFS.

    BEST REGARDS…
    AMIN.

  27. THIS IS PART OF IT:
    Every thing in this world govern by science even life itself, life itself is science its intelligent creative power (CENERGY) at X_AREA in the attached picture…
    -the curved line (arc) in attached file between 300000 km/sec (*) and 0 ! km/sec (x), I’ll call this area X_AREA . It is the environment of life’s factory… in fact there is no time (our concept), we feel time because we r in area except x_area (physically). I know Einstein theory ,and the critical mass,,,(very long…..), but I assure U science and life is not easy at all, when human being get x-area at that time can decide that 300000 km/sec is the highest speed or not (the relation between mass and energy needs more and more….),,,,,
    IN FACT TIME MADE IN X_AREA,,,,
    I want to say the real life is energy world “ABOVE SPEED OFLIGHT ” not the material world (in fact it is energy too but we don’t realize that), we R interested only in material progress,
    allot of things in human aspect is very low,, like the concept of begin and end (limits) of this universe, when u’ve ability of speed above light speed we’ll change the concept of limits, yeah the relativity theory and quantum mechanics laws, I know that quantum mechanic is behind a lot of our progress nowadays but it will not work in future, even the future generation will not take us as a real human “mentally”, Is speed of light the highest speed? there r more strong laws above speed of light, (how order came from disorder, law without law, in big bang theory!), this part needs long message the perception of human being depends on his ability, capabilities, (facilities)… but if he has ability for more speed (more) his way of thinking will change and his look to the universe will be change I know relativity theory (life not easy at all)…… I read a lot of theories some of them about evolution, punctuated equilibrium!, sometimes nonsense, othertimes shame on mankind’s intelligence,,,, ,,, THIS IS PART OF IT THE OTHERS R EXACTLY THE SAME POSTED ON THIS SITE,
    THERE R OTHER ESSUES LIKE: PERCEPTION, WHAT BEHIND EVOLUTION. THE CONCEPT OF GOOD AND EVIL,,,,,
    good and evil is just human being concept, yeah there r good and evil (mankind concept) for one reasons (mankind is intelligent being) no way to live with each others with out good and evil, each one will kill the others without good,,,,,or,,,, and without Evil there is no meaning to Good,,,,,
    Like no meaning to white if we didn’t recognize black,
    The fundamental factors of making life are not oxygen, hydrogen (water), nitrogen,carbon,, what’s could make life from these elements could make it from different substances and in different conditions, this is if she needs these substances to make life and intelligence, perception,,, there r some scientists looking for life in the outer space !

  28. I recently (within the last few years) began to question the existence of true time, or time as an entity in and of itself. But each time I thought about it, all I could come up with were observations of some form of motion. Events, if you will. Looking at a clock is only noticing motion of its hands. A digital clock is no better in that were are only seeing discrete indications (countings) of the motion of vibrating electrons. So it seems, what we call time is nothing more than recognizing motion and somehow quantizing it.

    Yes, we can write down the mathematical equations defining time as an independent dimension — but we can do that just as well for any number of spacial dimensions. Does it mean that equations defining 25 spacial dimensions make them any more real than actual space itself? It serves as a convenience in math — however that doesn’t require it to be a true dimension.

  29. well I have read the posts above with relish and have found some explanations of my own thoughts that i couldn’t express ,I read an example of a ball in a car being thrown from back seat in the direction of travel being viewed from the pavement having a speed = to the speed of the car +the speed of the ball . I personnally believe this to be false and only a function of mathmatics not perception .the problem is that the frames are being set by the observer and to large in the and to few and concidered indeplendantly and compared to each other ,while the math contrived to prove the point proves the point (since that is why it was contrived )and then when used to to prove other similar events it works so we declere whole teories proved (and probably correctly so) but i contest that the frame of refrence for the ball is just the ball the frame for the car is the car . The ball moves at a few feet a second irrispective of the car (and seen as so ) the car moves at 60miles/hr (for example) and does so irrispective of the ball even though both frames exist one inside the other .(I have done this )if you throw the ball from the moving car straight ahead I.E in the same direction of travel then the ball is quickly caught if in a ute duck quick!.it seems to me that the two frames do not influence each other at all since when the ball exits the car field of influence it frame does not change it carries on at the few feet a second it was doing in the car . it appears to me that when studying any physics that it is necerssary to concider the frame as well as the test .for example using lasers to test a theory of the bhaviour of light in general is dificult since you are comparing different frames and calling them the same ( I hope I have explained my self with some clarity I am not a studdied man and am happy for crticisim of what i have posted )

  30. Pingback: ask open mind anything - Page 4 - ForumGarden

  31. can someone just give a yes or no answer? i wanna know if it exists or not and you guys are just hurting my head!

  32. does it exist or not? i wanna know!! just a yes or no please

  33. *head explodes*

  34. just because i experience time does not mean it does exist. i experience a flat earth and a sun the rises up into the sky and goes down the other side. regardless of what i know, this is my experience. a flat earth, a sun the goes up and down and time.

  35. Time is simply change; nothing more, nothing less. Does change exist? Yes. Ergo, time does as well.

    It’s that simple.

  36. What we see and experience are changes in reality.
    We age and say time has passed, but all that is actually happening is we change. We see some piece of fruit rot and we say time has passed, but all there really was, was change.
    Change is the only constant in reality, everything changes all the ‘time’. Planets fly through space and turn on their axes at a relativ constant speed which we can measure and so we think ‘time’ has passed, but that is purely a human invention. In reality there is no such thing as ‘time’, only change.

  37. WOW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! And that barely scratches the surface of my reaction to some of what I read today. Because I read through all of the comments posted on this thread, I was led to read two papers by Peter Lynds. The first one is, in my opinion, one of the most poorly written things I have ever encountered that was considered worthy of publication. The second seemed a bit more readable, but maybe that was because I was gradually adapting my brain to his writing style. I find it quite amazing that either of these papers have been received by any scientific mind as having any credibility. To me, when you boil it all down it reveals that the author has not yet come to an understanding of the relatively simple concept of a point.

    There is a simple example of confusion in the minds of students who first encounter projectile motion that is directly related to these concepts, and it seems to me that the author of these papers shares their confusion. Imagine the existence of a truly uniform and static gravitational field and an observer at rest in that field (lets not get involved in subtleties caused by the earth’s rotation and diminishing gravitational forces at higher altitudes, etc). A ball is projected in a direction I will call up that is directly opposite the direction of the gravitational force. In the simplistic view in which time marches forward, the observer can conceive of 3 distinctly different, but related, attributes of the ball: (1) the position of the ball relative to its stationary starting point; (2) the velocity (directed speed) of the ball as it rises and then falls; and (3) the acceleration of the ball during its flight. Most people have no difficulty in perceiving, or imagining the position of the ball at any moment in time, and most have some awareness of the velocity of the ball at different moments during its flight, observing that its velocity is changing in a fairly regular way. They can often give a reasonable estimate of the velocity at various points during the ball’s flight based on observation of changes in position with passing time, and by comparison to their experience with other moving objects, such as the cars they drive that have a meter built in to remind them how fast they are moving relative to the roadway. Few have a problem accepting the idea that at the very top of the ball’s path, its velocity becomes zero as it changes from positive (upward) to negative (downward). But when asked about the acceleration of the ball during its flight, many will state that the acceleration of the ball at the top of its flight is ZERO. Why do they conclude this? It is because they have some intuitive, but wrong idea that if an object comes to rest, it cannot simultaneously be accelerating; they are incapable of recognizing that velocity and acceleration are distinctly different things.

    Mr. Lynds suffers from this same misconception, but he has moved it a step down the ladder. He is stuck with the notion that if there ever is a distinct moment of time at which the ball has a distinct position, then it will be impossible for that ball to be moving at that moment, and this leads him to conclude that there can be no such thing as a moment in time. In other words, he is incapable of conceiving of a point within a continuum of connected points that form an interval in one set being in a one-to-one correspondence with a point within in a continuum of points in an entirely different set while at the same time being in a one-to-one correspondence with a point within a continuum of points in a third set, and so on for as many sets as you like. This ultimately leads him to discount the Heisenberg uncertainty principal as being the origin of the indeterminacy of position and momentum of atomic particles, suggesting that the indeterminacy is a really just a consequence of his new view of time. In my opinion, this is pure nonsense. Position and velocity are not the same thing. Acceleration and velocity are not the same thing. There is no reason to think that knowing one of these things at some moment in time fixes any of the others to a specific value at that same moment in time.

    Even if you accept Lynds’ idea that there is no such thing as a moment of time (what he redundantly calls a precise static instant), there is no limit on how small an interval of time you can conceive, and therefore no quantifiable limit on the simultaneous precision with which both the position and momentum of a particle can simultaneously be known. The Heisenberg relation gives a quantifiable boundary on the degree of precision with which these two, distinctly different physical observables can be known. It is not a consequence of a limitation on the size of a time interval.

  38. hail oldtimer well met, keep up the Great Work! for you have caught the synaptic attention of neurons unfazed since new year’s eve before the one before last, when i tried to visualize the cone of the universe and to that attempt added the analogy of the rapidly shrinking circle of light that one sees above one as one sinks to the depths of the ocean. (That lead to a metaphysical experience best expressed in the ratio, [“photon at time of creation” : “soul” :: “photon being emitted from Sun” :: “deepest depth of ocean”], which felt like at provided corroboration for the traditional metaphysical vision of the Divine experienced as golden drops dripped each by each upon the center of the crown of the head).

    but i digress.

    doubtless i will comment here again. two things for now. i got here researching temporal anomaly, and before revealing more, wanted to ask you if you knew of any event around the second quarter of 2007 which would cause either a temporary ripple in our experience of time, or a similar effect on our experience of space? any event which would bring the question of the existence or mechanism of such an anomalous effect into public discourse? how about one that would have resulted in a heightened public awareness of such topics, however brief?

    i must go. more on how i never bought the ‘time is the fourth dimension’ crap even when i was but a wee brain in a kid’s body, being assured i was wrong, by adults all around me — more on that when next i comment. (if you like poems, this one is about adults who think they know things and who think the children they are lecturing do not, written by yours truly when i was very young)

    yours, oddly enough for my fledgeling blog cluster, will be the first new addition to my blogroll and as such has inspired me to actually edit and post it, which i have not yet done.

    be seeing you.

  39. UNIVERSE IS TIMELESS
    time is “tick” of clock in timeless universe

  40. I have nothing to contribute – I simply wished to make my existence on this site known 🙂

    Relativity makes too much sense that causes too much headache.

  41. Dr. Willy Douhit

    This post is the result of may years of thinking about wisdom.
    Wisdom only makes sense over time. In fact wisdom can only be measured in retrospect. That was/was not a wise decision. Our human minds allow us to time travel forward and backwar at our whim. We learn by by replaying our experiences. I didn’t lead the buck by enough. I led him by too much. This should be about right. Closer but no venison. Our senses can compute a ballistic path that can bring down our next meal and feed our family. We see the future, we relive the past. But in reality we live in real time, a very thin phase change between the possibilities of the future and the concrete ridgidity of the past. This thin layer is (can be considered as) like a membrane. I think it is what many physists refer to as a ‘brane. The ‘brane stands between the future and the past. It is a fully functional 3d universe with every particle that exists in said universe. At any point in time we refer to this as “the present”. If you will allow me to change names a little, let us call it “NOW”. NOW can be considered the ‘brane traveling through time. The state of the universe at NOW could be written as an integral equation with a starting time of zero and and a present time of NOW. If we include the states of every particle in the universe as our function of time and the obligitory dt as the veriable, then we have an equation describing the universe at NOW, where move forward at a nominal one second per second except for particles moving at speeds near light speed.
    In this context it might seem seasonable that entangled particles could be seperated in space and stay entangled as long as they were locked together in time. At some point the time lock may break down and the particles are no longer locked at the same time quantum.
    So here is my question:
    How wide (or thick) in units of time is NOW?
    It must be more than 1 x 10-40 seconds, or the particle would all be entangled. It must be less than 1x 10-9 seconds, because we can see what is happening there.
    Does the thickness of the ‘brane impose the limit on lightspeed?
    What do you think?
    Nikki, writes of “multiple planes of time at once”. Maybe we could expand that to “multiple 3d planes existence at different NOW’s”?
    How do we describe the equations of physics etc. in the moving membrane of NOW? What do photons etc. look like in NOW?
    What true assertions could be made about NOW?
    Perhaps, “the past does not exist?”
    Or maybe, “the past exists and we are it, standing on it, looking up in the sky at it”
    We could say: “Time exists only at NOW”
    We could also say: “Time did exist all the way from zero”
    And: “Time will exist for every NOW (day) until the end of time”
    Maybe the ‘brane has quantum froth on the leading edge on hard reality on the trainling?
    I am suggesting that there may be a slightly different way of thinking about time.
    Gravity may be something very different in the ‘brane. Or, maybe not in the ‘brane?
    And I Guarantee this one will make your ‘brane hurt.
    I have found all your discussions very profound and very stimulating.
    Here are a couple of quotes from Peter Ackroyd’s “Newton”
    Newton dicussing the intent of the “Optiks”: “My Design in this Book, is not to explain the Properties of Light by line or Hypothesis, but to propose and prove them by Reason and Experiment.”
    “Colours were not secondary aspects, or properties of light, they .. were light”
    This is a great, quick read. Available from Amazon, used for a penny.

    Willy Douhit

  42. hey sir…u rock n r cool!! u just made me rack my brains !!!
    wat i wanna ask is dat
    if photons r of zero mass n hv null time…dn why do we experience d light waves which hv photons??
    n if photons r of zero mass n den how come they give energy to d electrons…since energy n mass r interconvertible !!!
    if according to u photons hv zero mass..dn how come they dnt hv zero energy??
    if everything starts at zero time n ends at zero time…dn how come d events r nt zero n how come they r supposed to occur???

    • Good question. First the more technical answer: Photons are little packets of electromagnetic radiation. Their energy is proportional to the frequency of the radiation E=hf where E is the energy you are asking about, h is a constant called Planck’s Constant, and f is the frequency at which the photon vibrates.

      We see the colors because the various lengths of rods in the back of our eyes are sensitive to the frequency of the light that strikes it. The different colors have different frequencies and thus different energies.

      Now a not so technical answer: So if there is no mass, why do we experience them. why is there energy? Consider that light is a type of field, an electromagnetic field. I’ll use a more familiar field as an example. You have seen a magnet move, then lift a paper clip off of a table, have you not? This is a magnetic field and I think you will have to agree that this field is invisible and has no mass, no strings attached, right? Works through thin air (and even a vacuum). That is because there is energy in that massless field. So if magnetic fields can lift a paper clip or even a hammer without the field having mass, you should be able to agree that energy can be transmitted without mass. Same with photons, just a different type of field. Another field you are familiar with is a charge field (assuming you have ever been zapped by static electricity). No mass, but plenty of energy.

      Photons are the things that experience zero time due to their speed. We live in a different world, one in which there is a finite time delay between measurable events. The photons are the things that experience instantaneous time travel – instantaneous arrival – go/splat. Not us.

  43. Whether the concept of time was invented or it is an inherently existing phenomenon, its perception is created due to change caused by motion. For instance, the ever-changing position of the sun in the sky changes the degree to which planet Earth is illuminated, determining the time of the day. It would be interesting to find out what exactly causes motion such as the rotation of planets around the Sun.

    Hypothetically, it could be possible to lose the perception and track of time, if change was not marked by time restrictions or points of reference on the time scale currently in use. If reliance on time could be entirely avoided, and you were allowed to come to work at your convenience and not only at 8 o’clock in the morning, the perception of time could gradually disappear. All you would be able to observe or be aware of is change.

    Time can be perceived not only as linear going forward, but also as going perpendicular to the line that’s going forward. Since the earth is divided into several time zones, time, at a particular moment, is different at different points along the longitude.

    If you are in the 4pm time zone now, and if you start moving parallel to the equador towards the 3pm time zone, the distance you’ll cover in one minute, will be marked on your clock by 4:01pm. However, you’ll be entering the 3:00 pm time zone, where time on everybody else’s clocks will be different from the time showing on your clock.

    Taking into account the fact that the earth is rotating against the direction you are walking in, at a speed faster than your pace, it would be interesting to find out to what time you should reset your clock to – 3:01 or 3:59 or, should you constantly reset it to 4pm, in case you manage to reach the speed of the earth’s rotation.

    What happens to time in this particular situation? Can it be considered as going simultaneously forward and sideways?
    Or may be, in this circumstance, it is going farward, sideways, backwards and stays the same all at the same time?

    If you start walking along the latitude, always within the same time zone, either to the North or to the South from a definite point in space, time will be going forward, and your clock will not need to be reset.

    Perhaps, with losing the awareness of time, time will stop completely, and the unwanted change such as aging, for example, will stop too.

  44. Not having a scientific mind maybe I have a rather simplistic view of the world, but the way I see it time has to exist, it’s just our perception of time that is screwed. What I mean is that if you have a sundial that it will take a certain length of time before a cast shadow falls at the same point. Our perception of time dictates that the shadow won’t be at the same point within the next five manmade minutes.. We experience a passing of time. Plus we know that the shadow will point in the opposite direction BEFORE it points backs to the original position. There is a natural order of things that could not be possible if time didn’t exist. Our perception of time on the other hand is constantly changing. Who has not experienced time flying when they are having fun?

    Another thought that comes to mind is that our whole measurement of time is screwed. For example isnt it ridiculous that we add an extra day every leap year. I don’t think this kind of thing really assists with our concept of time. With all our modern technology can’t anyone recalculate the divisions of the passing of time. I believe nature is constant and predictable, but our calculations have gone utterly wrong.

    Sorry once again for my lack of scientific understanding, I am interested in quantum physics but it’s difficult trying to understand all the tech stuff (photons, atoms, etc).

  45. see ma web……….time is numerical order of change

  46. Quite simply there is no time because there is no need for time. Time in any physics equation you can think of can be replaced by the counting of movement. So according to Ocham’s razor the simpler solution is the right solution.We experience motion not time.

  47. Oldtimer, could you please check my thinking, because it doesn’t match some of the ideas posted here.

    1. Time is a dimension which is inseparable from the three dimensions of space.

    2. Just as we have invented dimension measurements for space (inches, kilometres, etc.), so we have invented dimension measurements for time (seconds, hours, etc.). These measurements are mere conventions, just as the other measurements like temperature and pressure are conventions too.

    3. When an event happens, there is a movement in space, even if only at the subatomic level and there has to be a sequence of one event after another. This is necessary for entropy to work.

    4. We assume that entropy has always increased, therefore we calculate back to the start of the universe, because time is only a sequence of events and the first event has to be the creation.

    5. Events may be billions of light years apart, but we can still construct a historical sequence with the aid of the information carrier light.

    6. Light is itself an event i.e. production of a photon which moves through space like any other event. We can perceive or check its position at any time or place by standing in the way.

    7. Locally we experience and measure time in relation to local events. Another form of intelligent life with different senses living somewhere else in the universe with different local conditions would experience time and space differently, because that form of life would have a different sensitivity to the progression of events and would experience different types of events.

    8. Speed can be measured objectively in relation to other events, but is perceived subjectively. The car may be perceived as coming slowly, but for the ant it is here immediately. Perception has nothing to do with the physics of time.

    9. Your speed in space affects your speed in time. A photon does not experience time nor distance, it is a fixed static straight line in 4 dimensional spacetime.

    10. Therefore my conclusion is, there is nothing special about time, it’s a dimension of spacetime and it exists in the same sense as the other 3 dimensions.

    Do you agree, or have I misunderstood something somewhere?

  48. Hello, I was reading your reply about whether density affects an object’s gravity, and although I’m not disagreeing with you that the object has the same mass and potential gravity, I’m thinking that since the volume of space taken up by a denser object is smaller, but with the same amount of gravitational potential as a less denser object taking up more space, shouldn’t the radius of the gravitational field be greater in relation to the size of the oject, thus producing a sort of illusion of a “greater” gravitational field around that object? I’m just saying if a peanut sized ball has the density of earth itself, there is a lot of space that other objects can move into and be affected by that gravitational field opposed to a less denser earth that otherwise would take up that space. A black hole is in theory tiny at it’s singularity, but the gravitational field is so great that light cannot escape it’s event horizon. This is also my question for you, I think it was stated that gravity pulls at the speed of light, but if a black hole has a singularity and an event horizon much further away from that singularity, does it not make sense that light should only be pulled back in at the singularity IF the gravity of the black whole is equal to the speed of light? IF the gravity of the black hole is actually greater than the speed of light, then it makes sense for an event horizon to exist much further from the singularity which is pulling faster than the speed of light. This kind of makes me imagine crazy things like a black hole being the recylcer of the universe, something to go further than the speed of light which they state is the point time stands still, in theory it’s where time is reversed…..Just my crazy theory, let me know what you think.

  49. “The landing point is warped to the starting point and there is zero distance traveled and zero “time” involved in its travel.”

    With that in mind and even though “time” would not exist in a photon world, then ironically “time” travel must be possible lol

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